The first week of June, 2009, a clinic at 5101 East Kellogg Drive in Wichita closed. It was the end of an era. The closing came just one week after it's owner, Dr. George Tiller, was shot and killed at point blank range in the foyer of his church. Since then, the building has sat alone, a solemn reminder to many of the wonderful doctor (and warrior of women's rights) that a community and a movement, lost.
This week, the clinic got a second chance and re-opened as South Wind Women's Center. This is the first time since the death of Dr. Tiller that abortion has been readily available in Wichita. While they are not currently offering the late term services for fetal anomaly and maternal indication that Dr. Tiller's practice provided, they are offering services up to 14 weeks.
According to director (and former employee of Dr. Tiller), Julie Burkhart, the next few months are crucial to the clinic's success. While Wichita has been without an abortion provider nearly four years, the pro-life presence of Operation Rescue is still ever-present. As soon as word got out that the clinic was re-opening, OR has been working to put a stop to it all. This presents constant challenges to the clinic, it's employees, and it's clients.
To say that South Wind needs all the support it can get, is an understatement. These hard workers of women's rights need cheerleaders, encouragement, and all the "Way to go!"s that they can get. Whether you believe in prayer, good vibes, or whatever...send them their way! Let's hope that this clinic can manage to navigate through the harassment without losing their stamina to deal with it and their desire to help women.
Congratulations to South Wind Women's Center! Here's to a long and prosperous run!